Technical Roundup 19 March

Mar 19, 2021

Welcome to this week’s Technical Roundup.   

In developments this week, the UKEB has published its feedback on the Business Combinations: Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment project; the meeting notes from the February IFAC Advisory Council are now available; in the UK the BEIS has just issued its much anticipated white paper  - Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance; and the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2020 was signed into law.

Read more on these and other developments that may be of interest to members below.

Financial Reporting 

  • The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) secretariat has published its feedback statement on the Business Combinations: Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment project. The feedback statement summarises UK stakeholder views shared with the UKEB secretariat and how those views were reflected in the final comment letter submitted to the IASB’s Discussion Paper DP/2020/1 Business Combinations, Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment.
  • Investors, analysts and other users of insurance company accounts are invited to attend a webinar on IFRS 17 – UK endorsement. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, IFRS 17 needs to be assessed by the UKEB if it is to be adopted for use in the UK. This webinar, which will be held on 30 March, forms part of the UKEB's engagement with stakeholder groups and is intended to initiate discussion around key aspects of the standard from the user perspective. The webinar will include an outline from the UKEB secretariat of the project to assess IFRS 17 for UK adoption and explain how you can get involved in outreach.
  • The meeting papers and agenda for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) meeting to be held on 23–24 March 2021 are now available. The topics for discussion include a work plan update, the equity method research project, management commentary, goodwill and impairment, primary financial statements, and the second comprehensive review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard. The links to the webcasts will be available in due course.
  • The IFRS Advisory Council met on 23 February 2021 to discuss an update on the IASB’s work plan, sustainability reporting and post-covid-19 planning. The Advisory Council Chair’s report on the meeting is now available, summarising these discussions.
  • EFRAG has requested comments on its draft endorsement advice on Disclosure of Accounting Policies (Amendments to IAS 1 and IFRS Practice Statement 2) and on Definition of Accounting Estimates (Amendments to IAS 8). EFRAG's overall preliminary assessment is that both sets of amendments satisfy the criteria for endorsement for use in the EU and therefore recommends their endorsement. Comments are requested by 7 June 2021.

Auditing

IAASB Meeting

The IAASB share the agenda and papers for their meetings two to three weeks in advance of the meeting.  The next meeting is 15-19 March and the aganda and papers can be accessed here https://www.iaasb.org/meetings.  Minutes and highlings of previous meetings are also available on this website and observers can register to view the meeting on the IAASB YouTube channel.   

IAASA has published a quality assurance review report in respect of each of Ireland’s seven audit firms that perform statutory audits of public interest entities (PIE audit firms). Each of the reports summarise IAASA’s findings arising from the quality assurance reviews of the PIE audit firms that took place in 2020.

Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy white paper

The Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the UK has just issued its long awaited white paper  ‘Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance: proposals on reforms’. This proposes some significant changes to corporate governance and a number of sweeping reforms for the audit sector. The consultation period is 16 weeks and the closing date is 8 July 2021.  

 

Sustainability reporting

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) last week convened over 150 chief executives and senior leaders of professional accountancy organizations around the world, together with its Board of Directors, to discuss critical issues relevant to the future of the accountancy profession. A key focus of the meetings was hearing from key stakeholders on the future of corporate and sustainability-related reporting, and how these fit into the broader context of sustainable business and finance, where professional accountants will need to play a pivotal leadership role based on their core competencies and ethical codes. Read more here

Ethics

IESBA have issued an exposure draft of proposed revisions to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) that broadens the definition of a public interest entity (PIE). These revisions include more categories of entities, given the level of public interest in their financial condition, for the purposes of additional independence requirements to enhance confidence in their audits. The comment period is due to end on May 3, 2021 and IESBA are running a webinars in March to explain the key proposed changes

Central Bank

The Central Bank’s Innovation Hub  2020 Update   provides details of types of queries received during the year including queries from  accounting firms looking to register as Account Information Service Providers (AISPs) to help auto-import financial accounts. The hub was launched in April 2018 to facilitate open and active engagement with the FinTech sector. It  provides a direct and dedicated point of contact for all firms, from small start-ups to incumbents, to engage with members of the Central Bank’s Fintech Network.

New legislation

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2020 was signed into law by the President this week. It brings the fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive into Irish law. More details on the new act will be available shortly on the Institute website.


Forthcoming proposed legislation

The Department of justice action plan 2021 was published recently. Areas which might be of interest include plans during the year to carry out remote anti money laundering inspections, to commence drafting of a general scheme of a Cybercrime Bill, to enact the Personal Insolvency (Amendment) (No.1) Bill to ensure that sufficient supports are in place for mortgage holders with repayment difficulties including those due to the pandemic and complete statutory review of Personal Insolvency Acts 2012-2015 and prepare Scheme of Personal Insolvency (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill based on the outcome of the review.

For further technical information and updates please visit the Technical Hub and the Covid-19 Hub on the Institute website.